Dr Silvana Birchenough

Silvana Birchenough Dr Silvana Birchenough is a marine ecologist and scientific advisor on issues related to benthic ecology and human activities (i.e. dredged material disposal, aggregate extraction and construction) to government departments (i.e. Defra, MMO and Crown State) and industry (i.e. BMAPA, CEDA). Her expertise lies on the understanding of long-term benthic changes resulting from anthropogenic activities, recovery patterns and climatic processes. 

Dr Birchenough’s research is on benthic responses to human activities and repercussions for ecosystem function with in situ observations (i.e. Sediment profile camera -SPI). She manages the 3 year Defra funded project entitled: Application and development of Sediment Profile Imagery (SPI) to provide an integrated impact assessment tool for disposal site monitoring and species adaptations to human activities.

Her work has also been targeted in support of indicator development as proxy for seabed function in support of seabed integrity under the European Marine Directive Strategy. She also manages work package 3.1 (to examine overall impacts of OA on regional sediment function) of the 3-year funded NERC/Defra/DECC project. Silvana’s work is also in relation to “Developing a biological framework to assess functional responses in dredged material disposal sites in the UK”. This work is focused on benthic responses and functional adaptations resulting from dredged material disposal activities.

Silvana is also the co-chair the ICES study group on Climate related benthic processes in the North Sea (SGCBNS) and a regular contributor of the ICES Benthic Ecology Working group (BEWG). She is also a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust – WCMT Medal for work conducted on the SPI for safeguarding marine environments (May 2010).       

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